CAS: anexperientiallearning Creativity, action, service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Programme. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s Diploma Programme experience.CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning. At the same time, it provides an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the Diploma Programme. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme.
The three strands of CAS • The three strands of CAS, which are often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows: • Creativity: experiences that involve creative thinking. • Action: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, it may include participation in organized school activities and also serious interests in which the student is doing outside of school, subject to the approval of the CAS Coordinator. • Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student.
CAS timetableThe studentmustparticipate in CAS from the start of the academicyearfor a minumof 150 hoursduring 18 months ( september, 1st year – march, 2nd year) • At the beginningof the first yearstudents are givendetailedintoabou CAS mainfeaturesobjectives, and requirements. • A generalactionplanispresented. Activities are tobecarred out in and out thoschoolcontext or a local, national and internationallevel. • Students are askedtodraw up a proposal in whichthey are supposedtooutline the activitiestheyintendto do over the 2 years. The proposals are tobehanded in to the Coordinatorforapproval. Parents/Families are informed on CAS activitiesthroughperiodicalmeetings and the school’s e-learning platform . All the documents-assessmentforms and variousmaterialswillconstitute the student’s CAS portfolio ( form A). • Developmentofactivities. Amongthem some more diversifiedprojectsincluding 2 or 3 CAS elementstogether are bedevised. • Regular cheek of CAS portfolios in ordertomakesureeveryfinished project includes a self-evaluation ( form B.) • Indexlistof the projects/activitiescarried out. • CAS finalevaluation ( over the 2 years ) and documentssubmissionto the IB by end ofApril. ( As part of routine monitoring or duringfiveyearsreviews , regional office mayrequesttosee the complete documentationforindividualstudents).
CAS EVALUATION mod.C As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that students have: • increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth They are able to see themselves as individuals with various skills and abilities, some more developed than others, and understand that they can make choices about how they wish to move forward. • undertaken new challenges A new challenge may be an unfamiliar activity, or an extension to an existing one. • planned and initiated activities Planning and initiation will often be in collaboration with others. It can be shown in activities that are part of larger projects, for example, ongoing school activities in the local community, as well as in small student‑led activities. • worked collaboratively with others Collaboration can be shown in many different activities, such as team sports, playing music in a band, or helping in a kindergarten. At least one project, involving collaboration and the integration of at least two of creativity, action and service, is required. • shown perseverance and commitment in their activities At a minimum, this implies attending regularly and accepting a share of the responsibility for dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities. • engaged with issues of global importance Students may be involved in international projects but there are many global issues that can be acted upon locally or nationally (for example, environmental concerns, caring for the elderly). • considered the ethical implications of their actions Ethical decisions arise in almost any CAS activity (for example, on the sports field, in musical composition, in relationships with others involved in service activities). Evidence of thinking about ethical issues can be shown in various ways, including journal entries and conversations with CAS advisers. • developed new skills As with new challenges, new skills may be shown in activities that the student has not previously undertaken, or in increased expertise in an established area.
CAS, TOK, ExtendedEssay, Subjectlearning • Both CAS and Theory of knowledge (TOK) emphasize the importance of reflection and developing self‑awareness. • CAS reflection flows from experience, from thinking about how an activity feels and what it means to everyone involved. In TOK the approach to knowledge issues tends more towards the abstract and theoretical. The links can nevertheless be very close • At a more general level, students can be encouraged to compare their learning in CAS with their subject learning, and to consider how one may help the other. • TOK lessons may provide an opportunity for extended discussion of the values and philosophy of CAS, and student responses to these. • Two sample bridging questions are provided in the Theory of knowledge guide (March 2008): 1) CAS is often described as “experiential education”. In what ways is learning in CAS similar to or different from learning in other areas of the Diploma Programme? 2) In what ways might CAS be said to promote ethical education? Is service to others, in whatever form, a moral obligation? If so, on what might the obligation be based? If not, why not?
The components of a CAS programme The role of the CAS coordinator encompasses the following areas. • Coordination • Administration • Mentoring/advising • Supervision Coordination The CAS coordinator function includes developing opportunities for students to engage in authentic experiential learning and to reflect on their experiences in meaningful ways. This is time-consuming and requires cooperation with other school colleagues, who need to be involved in supporting CAS. The coordinator has a leadership function, if not a specific management responsibility, in ensuring that CAS is properly supported and valued in the school Administration A CAS programme of any size requires support in order to ensure that it runs smoothly. This includes: • contact with outside individuals and agencies • consideration of safety issues (risk assessment) • record keeping. CAS advisers and CAS supervisors Are schools required to have CAS advisers and CAS supervisors? There is no IB requirement to install a CAS team in a school. It is up to the school to decide if a division of responsibilities will better assist the management of its CAS programme. The roles of CAS adviser and CAS supervisor are usually done by the CAS coordinator when student numbers can be effectively and efficiently managed by one person.
What is the difference between CAS advisers and CAS supervisors?Tab. D • The CAS adviser provides assistance to the CAS coordinator by being responsible for one or more CAS students as a mentor. This role is primarily to help the students discuss their activities, assist with identifying goals, support students in reflective practice and help students make connections between what they do and the learning outcomes. • Where necessary, the CAS supervisor is present at a student’s activity or project, ensuring the safety of the student, monitoring their attendance and reporting any issues to the CAS coordinator or CAS adviser.
Some examplesof CAS activities(student’s index) • Collaborating and rising funds with humanitarian associations • Participating in activities promoted by OsservatorioGiovaniEditori (Firenze and Siena) • Writing for the school news paper and for Zainet ( National Magazine for students) • Designing and Constructing a Chart for the European School and participating to an interview at Radio Zainet about it • Visiting Montecitorio and taking part to training for students in Italian Parliament (Roma) • Participating in the initiative “ Ragazzi in aula” (Writing a Regional low and simulating a sitting at the Regional Parliament of Torino) • Participating to 2 International Projects - LLP Comenius: “ Our Europe” and “Look after yourself and the environment” (Writing for a Comenius Magazine on line; Organizing Comenius events in the school; Hosting foreign students partners in the projects; Constructing a power point presentation) • Constructing notice boards about Gaza war and the Memory Day • Participatingto Biennale Democrazia ( Lectio MagistralisofourPresident Giorgio Napolitano) • Taking care of children in a nursery school • Rowing at Società Canottieri Caprera - Torino • Taking private tennis and golf lessons • Taking private classical guitar lessons • Participating in “Green Army in Reykjavik” ( A Voluntary Environmental Work Camp in Iceland) • Organizing the European Day of Languages in school • Representing students in the “Students ConsultaProvinciale” • Self evaluation of every activity • Final CAS Evaluation Report • Evaluation/letter by CAS Coordinator • Appendix ( Activities proposed – CAS proposal - Documents about CAS )